How to Make Coffee in a Chemex: A Step-by-Step Guide

Coffee in a Chemex

Coffee lovers are always looking for new and innovative ways to enjoy their favorite beverage. One such method is using a Chemex, a glass coffee maker that brews a clean and flavorful cup of coffee. However, using a Chemex can be a bit intimidating for first-timers. This guide will provide you with a step-by-step process to make coffee in a Chemex that is sure to impress even the most discerning coffee connoisseurs.

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What is a Chemex?

Before diving into the brewing process, it’s essential to understand what a Chemex is. A Chemex is a type of pour-over coffee maker that was invented in 1941 by German chemist Peter Schlumbohm. It consists of a glass vessel with a narrow neck and a wooden collar tied with a leather strap. Chemex uses thick filters that remove coffee oils and sediments, producing a clean and smooth cup of coffee.

What You Will Need

To make coffee in a Chemex, you will need the following items:

  • Chemex brewer
  • Chemex filter
  • Freshly roasted coffee beans
  • Burr grinder
  • Digital scale
  • Hot water kettle
  • Timer
  • Stirrer

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Boil the water: Fill your hot water kettle with the required amount of water and boil it. We recommend using water that is between 195°F to 205°F.
  • Weigh and Grind the Coffee: Weigh out the desired amount of coffee beans using a digital scale. The standard ratio for making coffee in a Chemex is 1:15, which means you should use 1 gram of coffee for every 15 grams of water. Grind the coffee beans to a medium-coarse consistency using a burr grinder.
  • Wet the Filter: Place the Chemex filter in the brewer, and wet it with hot water. This process helps remove the paper flavor and preheats the brewer.
  • Add Coffee Grounds: Add the ground coffee to the filter, ensuring an even bed.
  • Bloom: Pour hot water over the coffee bed, making sure all grounds are saturated. Let the coffee bloom for 30 seconds. Blooming is the process of saturating the coffee grounds, causing them to release carbon dioxide, which improves the coffee’s flavor.
  • Continue Pouring: After the bloom, slowly pour the hot water over the coffee bed in a circular motion. Start pouring from the center and work your way outward, ensuring that all grounds are saturated.
  • Stir the Coffee: Once you’ve finished pouring, use a stirrer to gently stir the coffee. This step helps to ensure even extraction.

Wait and Enjoy: Let the coffee brew for 3 to 4 minutes or until the desired strength is achieved. Once the brewing is complete, remove the filter and discard it. Serve the coffee and enjoy!

Tips for Brewing the Perfect Chemex Coffee

  • Use freshly roasted coffee beans.
  • Preheat the Chemex brewer and the mug with hot water.
  • Weigh the coffee and water for consistency.
  • Use a burr grinder for an even grind size.
  • Pour water slowly and steadily, ensuring even saturation.
  • Use a timer to maintain consistency in brewing time.
  • Enjoy your coffee in a preheated mug.

Does coffee taste better with a Chemex?

Many coffee enthusiasts would argue that coffee made with a Chemex tastes better than coffee made with other brewing methods. The unique shape and design of the Chemex allows for a slow and precise brewing process, resulting in a clean and flavorful cup of coffee.

The Chemex filter paper is thicker than most filters, which removes any sediment or oils in the coffee, resulting in a smoother taste. Additionally, the glass construction of the Chemex allows the coffee’s aroma to fully develop and be enjoyed. Ultimately, the taste of coffee is subjective, and some people may prefer the taste of coffee made with other brewing methods. However, the Chemex’s design and brewing process make it a popular choice for those who prioritize the taste and quality of their coffee.

Can you use regular coffee in a Chemex?

Yes, you can use regular coffee in a Chemex. The type of coffee you use will affect the taste of your brew, so it’s important to choose a high-quality coffee that you enjoy. When choosing coffee for your Chemex, look for beans that are freshly roasted and ground specifically for pour-over brewing.

This will ensure that the coffee is at its freshest and will result in a more flavorful cup. It’s also important to pay attention to the grind size – for the Chemex, a medium-coarse grind is recommended. Avoid using pre-ground coffee, as it can quickly become stale and lose flavor. By using high-quality, freshly ground coffee, you can ensure the best possible taste for your Chemex brew.


Making coffee in a Chemex is a simple yet rewarding process that produces a clean and flavorful cup of coffee. By following this step-by-step guide and tips, you can brew a perfect cup of coffee in no time. Experiment with different coffee beans, grind sizes, and brewing times to find your perfect cup of coffee.

How much coffee can a Chemex brew?

A Chemex can brew up to 8 cups of coffee.

What is the ideal water temperature for brewing coffee in a Chemex?

The ideal water temperature for brewing coffee in a Chemex is between 195°F to 205°F.

Can I use regular filters instead of Chemex filters?

While regular filters can be used in a pinch, Chemex filters are thicker and produce a cleaner cup of coffee.

How often should I clean my Chemex?

You should clean your Chemex after each use. Rinse it with hot water and use a brush to remove any residual coffee oils or sediments.

Can I use a Chemex to make iced coffee?

Yes, you can use a Chemex to make iced coffee. Simply follow the same brewing process and pour the brewed coffee over ice.